Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Manual

1141.005.00 When to Act on Unclear Information

IM-93 November 8, 2023; IM-66 July 19, 2023; IM-06 January 19, 2023

The agency must request clarification and/or verification (if applicable) of reported changes in household circumstances for unclear information if the information is:

  • Recent (fewer than 60 days old relative to the current month of participation), and
  • Required to be reported by the household, or
  • Significantly conflicts with information reported during the prior certification.

Review 1140.000.00 Simplified Reporting for a household’s reporting requirements.

Note: An Unclear Information flow chart can be found in FAMIS Resources.

If the change is recent and is required to be reported or if reported information conflicts with the information provided by the household at certification and is significant enough to bring the household’s eligibility into question, the household must be contacted by telephone call. If the household cannot be reached, send a Request for Information (RFI) or a Request for Contact (RFC) notice.

The RFI (FA-325) must be used anytime information is needed on an eligibility factor while the RFC (FA-331) must only be used if there is not enough information provided to send an RFI.

The RFI/RFC must clearly advise the household what verification is needed or what needs to be done to clarify the situation and give the household 10 days to respond. The RFI/RFC must also clearly advise the household that failure to respond could result in case closure. After 10 days, if the household does not respond to the RFC or does respond but does not provide enough information to clarify the situation, the agency will issue a notice of adverse action (see 1140.025.05 Advance Notice of Adverse Action).

If the household responds to the RFI and provides all the requested information/clarification, the agency must act on the new circumstances.

It is not required to follow up on information that is not recent (more than 60 days old relative to the current month of participation) and not required to be reported or does not conflict with information previously reported. For information that is not acted upon, case notes should be made in the eligibility system for the SNAP household to be explored/acted upon at the next Mid-Certification Review or Recertification as appropriate.

Note: Unclear Information received from certain data matches is treated differently. Review 1141.010.00 Acting on Unclear Information From Certain Data Matches for more information.